// Today’s beautiful guest, Stephanie, has been on my list of women to interview since the very start of this series. She is actually the one who has inspired me to pursue a lifelong passion to become a postpartum doula. As a single mama to two equally adorable girls; Mia, 11 and Annabelle, 3, Stephanie leads the way as a woman who is deeply grounded in her work as a successful creative entrepreneur. This radiant woman’s interview (and smile) will surely expand your soul. Enjoy! //
Where do you live?
Los Angeles, CA
What do you do for work?
Holistic Chef/ Postpartum Doula/ Loss Doula/ Reiki Healer/ Baby Massage Educator/ Creative Entrepreneur
How are you creative in your line of work?
I feel like I’m constantly jumping from one mode of creativity to another.. I get to be creative so often throughout the day which is probably my favorite thing about my job and motherhood. Whether it’s creating a new recipe to share with clients or trouble-shooting a parenting moment, there are so many opportunities to be creative. I also make time on the weekends to do watercolor painting or writing. I was an art major in college and that part of me needs attention in order for me to feel happy and fulfilled.
What is a typical day like for you as a creative + mama?
My days are usually fairly busy! I get the girls ready for the day, drive morning carpool for my older daughter, visit a client for 3-4 hours, hit the farmers market, go home to tackle some emails and maybe do some recipe development, then make dinner (my kids more or less get a home cooked meal every night of the week) and get everyone- including myself- to bed at a reasonable time (for me that’s before 10pm).
Where does simplicity show up in your life?
I find simplicity in organization- which is funny because organization doesn’t come naturally to me and isn’t my strong suit. But lately I’ve realized that it’s actually something I crave. As a single mom who is also a business owner, it’s impossible to keep everything organized and perfect, so I focus on what I have control over- keeping my emails, notes, client forms, etc super organized/ keeping my kitchen space and dining table clean, orderly and clear/ keeping my closet as organized as possible so getting ready in the morning doesn’t take more time than it needs to/ keeping my calendar updated with everything clearly labeled so I don’t double book anyone or forget anything. The more time and effort I put into organization systems ahead of time, the more freedom and simplicity it allows me down the road.
What is your personal style?
Comfort is the most important thing for me- if something isn’t comfortable, I’m just not going to wear it. I need to be able to move, hold a baby (and not worry about spit up), cook a meal, take my kids to the park, go grocery shopping- all in the same outfit because I am often away from home from morning until late afternoon. I’m obsessed with Doen dresses- I could live in those and only those forever and ever. They’re comfortable, mostly cotton so easy to wash, they wear so well, and the styles are just so classic and feminine. It’s important to me to be put together- I’m not the postpartum doula who’s going to show up at your house in leggings and a sweatshirt. I like to feel feminine and beautiful and stylish. My friends call me the queen of dresses.. And judging by my closet that might be true! That said, I’m also a sucker for a great pair of jeans and a crisp white button up. Other brands that I am really into are LoveShackFancy, Rachel Pally, Apiece Apart and Jenni Kayne.
What is your beauty regime?
My beauty routine is very simple- again, these things have to be simple and easy in order to be sustainable for me. In the morning I dampen my face with a warm, wet washcloth, moisturize with True Botanicals renew oil (this stuff literally changed my skin) and then gua sha. If I’m in the mood I’ll put on some concealer or cheek color. It’s a little more involved if I’m heading to an event that day. All the beauty products I use are very clean- my staple brands are True Botanicals, Beauty Counter, RMS, Kora, Alitura (favorite face mask ever) and Acure for my shampoo and conditioner. My evening routine is to dampen my skin with a warm washcloth, then exfoliate, then moisturize with the True Botanicals oil again. About 3 times a week I’ll do a mask of some sort. My pores get clogged easily and my skin is sensitive so I try to be diligent about keeping it clean.
What does a healthy diet look like for you personally.
I follow intuitive eating most of the time (staying in tune with what my body and soul are really wanting and needing rather than letting external information dictate my choices) and that ends up meaning that about 80% of the time I eat fairly cleanly and the other 20% of the time is pizza, wine and dessert. And to be clear, when I say clean eating, I’m not living on green juices and salads - I eat a lot of delicious soups, don’t avoid carbs, and refuse to deprive my taste buds. I mostly eat home cooked meals - and avoid a lot of junk that way - but don’t really restrict myself much. Eating great food is one of the great joys of being a human, in my opinion, and I’d rather taste all the things and live my life to the fullest than worry about calories or an extra 5 pounds.
What does exercise/movement look like for you? How do you fit it in as a busy mama.
This is something I’m in the process of figuring out. I haven’t been exercising regularly in the past year or so and it’s caught up with me. Finding the time for this is really hard, especially since I’m not someone who loves working out. However, I’ve recently discovered BoxUnion here in LA which has totally re-inspired me. It’s such a fun workout (I can’t believe I’m actually saying that).. For me, I exist in such a calm, soft, nurturing space all day and the boxing classes are the opposite of that- in the best way. I love the crazy loud music, the instructor on the mic motivating you, getting to punch something- haha.. I highly recommend trying it!
Any routines/habits/mottos to living well?
Routine and ritual are really important to me.. I like to start and end my day in the same way every day (whenever possible), in a way that’s sustainable. If it’s an elaborate morning or evening routine, it’s just not realistic for me to commit to, given my lifestyle. So- in the morning, I start the day with a cup of tea. Sometimes it’s fresh ginger grated into warm water, sometimes it’s a beautiful green tea or chamomile with some dried rose petals added in. A warm cup of tea is a great way to start waking up the digestive system and it’s a moment of grounding to start a busy day. In the evening, I get into bed, light a couple of beeswax candles, and read for 20-30 minutes. I love reading so much and this time feels like checking in with old friends (I’m often rereading my favorite books and finding new gems of wisdom every time). I’ve also made a conscious effort to cut down on evening blue light exposure for myself and my girls- I changed out lightbulbs, put up black out curtains in the bedrooms, and we do all bedtime stories by candlelight now. It takes more thought and effort, but we all sleep so much better and who can argue with that?!
When/how do you feel most beautiful and most aligned with yourself?
When I take time to get quiet and check in with myself, when I take care of my body, when I journal, when I spend time in nature (preferably around water in the mountains), and when I am living my most authentic version of myself.
What are 5 things you are loving right now?
Japanese sweet potatoes (red skin and white inside)
Vintage tea cups- preferably in a floral pattern
Infrared sauna sessions (I go to Pause here in LA)
100% beeswax candles- they smell incredible, give off the nicest light, and are free of chemicals and added fragrance (which basically all other candles are full of)
To Be Magnetic manifestation process- Lacy’s workshops are life changing and her podcast is great too. Her process is really different than the traditional “just think positive” manifestation practices that are out there. Her workshops really ask you to dig deep, sort through your programming, and change your subconscious beliefs and therefore your self worth. It’s really hard work! But so worth it.
What advice do you have for mothers looking to find balance in both being healthy and staying creative?
Create routines and practices that are sustainable because what you do consistently has the biggest impact on your life, your body, your health, your happiness, etc. Keep things simple and realistic- be honest with yourself about what you actually WANT to do- not focusing too much on what you think you SHOULD do.
if someone is looking to start a biz/career in your field what are some steps they can take to achieve that.
After you’ve done your doula training, I would highly recommend seeking out both a mentor and a doula village. Find someone who can take you under their wing in a way and give you advice on how to start building your identity/reputation, start bringing in clients, building a website, writing your contract, etc. And build your doula village- this can be a doula collective/agency in your area that you join, or just a group of people who are also doulas who you can be friends with and turn to for advice, guidance, and comradery. It’s so important to make sure that you have a strong support system in place; your client are going to be leaning on you big time so you need to make sure you have people to lean on also.
Tell us what you are working on next...
This spring I’m launching a bath salt that is everything.. It’s a combination of magnesium flakes, dried herbs and dried flower petals- no added fragrances or other irritants. I’m really excited about it!
//All photos are property of Stephanie Mathhias//